The October 2018 Conference on Iroquois Research was held last weekend at Ganondagan, near Victor N.Y. Ganondagan is the site of a Seneca town that was attacked by the French in 1687. The Seneca community fled, burning their buildings down before the French reached them. They rebuilt nearby. The site is now home to a bark longhouse and a beautiful museum, as well as interpretive trails, all curated to present Seneca history and culture in a way that is dynamic, respectful, and transformative. Visiting Ganondagan is inspirational in and of itself.
The conference was a chance to see old friends and make new ones and to hear presentations about a wide variety of topics in Iroquois studies, from the distant past through the present. When you are working on topics in which most people have only a limited interest, it is energizing to connect with others whose eyes light up instead of glazing over when you start to ramble on.
I had a chance to share what I have been doing with this website and get encouragement, feedback, and new ideas. You can access my slides as a powerpoint presentation here: Hunter_CommIndAff-2018 or as a PDF here:Hunter_CommIndAff-2018.
I also recommend the new issue of the C.I.R. journal, hopefully available soon at Iroquoia. And while we’re at it, the C.I.R. Facebook page has developed into a significant source for connecting with colleagues and learning about recent developments.
The Seneca people call themselves Onöndowa’ga., meaning “people of the big hill.” I am embarrassed to say that only after this last visit to Ganondagan have I faced up to that word and gotten it more or less into my ears and mind. In the process of learning it I have also discovered how to enter special characters in WordPress. Once again I realize how much I still have to learn.